Understanding the underlying factors of Internet addiction across cultures: A comparison study

Leida Chen, Ravi Nath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Studies have shown that technology addiction distorts the true intentions of technology users. This is primarily due to the maladaptive perceptions that form as a result of the addiction to technology. Internet is the vehicle for e-commerce; therefore, understanding Internet addiction (IA) is critical to developing a sustainable and healthy environment for e-commerce growth and ignoring it could lead to a myriad of business, societal, ethical and legal ramifications. Internet Addiction Test (IAT) is a well-established instrument for measuring an individual's addiction level. While IAT has been widely adopted clinically and in research in many countries, the differences in the underlying constructs of IA among various countries have not been sufficiently examined. Using the data collected from 488 US, 453 African, and 209 Chinese college students, this study focuses on discovering the differences in the underlying properties of IA from a cross-cultural perspective. The analysis shows that a sizable percent of the users in each region suffers from IA problems. More importantly, the results indicate that the key underlying IA psychometric constructs are substantially different in different cultural, economic and technological contexts. Further, the implications of the findings and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-48
Number of pages11
JournalElectronic Commerce Research and Applications
StatePublished - May 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Marketing
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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